The most successful and memorable conferences with an Arctic twist are organised in Oulu! Oulu is the hub of science, business and culture in northern Finland. Oulu is also the fastest growing urban region in Arctic Europe, and on the edge in many senses. When you look at the world map, Oulu is close to the northernmost edge. Oulu is also on the cutting edge when it comes to expertise, innovations and research – driven by the world’s top specialists. Every day, approximately 2.6 billion people around the world use mobile technologies developed in Oulu.
Set up a quality conference in Oulu
Experts in Oulu have solid experience in arranging international conferences as well as major national events. Oulu has pleasant and functionable conference venues for all kinds of needs – even sizable events. A compact city centre, short distances, fluid traffic and first-class accommodation options guarantee the comfort of your conference guests. Oulu provides a unique setting for a conference, as the beat of the city, the closeness of nature and the northern hospitality all go hand in hand. In Oulu, your guests will enjoy a pleasant package of big city services and small-town warmth.
A conference in Oulu is so much more besides work: it is an exotic experience. In the wintertime, your international guests can wonder at the frozen sea available for walks right next to the city centre, and in the summer the midnight sun shines all through the night. Oulu is famous for its extensive and well-maintained network of bicycle routes as well as the resilience of local winter bikers. Oulu is also a contender for European Capital of Culture in 2026, and it is no wonder with events oozing northern craziness: just look at the Air Guitar World Championships, or Polar Bear Pitching, where startups must impress potential investors by standing waist-deep in a hole drilled in the sea ice. Bring your conference guests to Oulu and let them experience truly original moments in a city surrounded by extraordinary Arctic nature!
Oulu is making a bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026. There are events and happenings for all tastes in the city, practically every night. Oulu is famous for the Air Guitar and the local expertise in the art of dance, but here you can also enjoy high-quality theatre, circus, visual arts, and sports. A wide range of music events takes place throughout the year in big venues and intimate club settings alike.
Keskustan puoluekokous Ouluhallissa
Meet in Oulu Summer
Meet in Oulu Winter
Oulu Convention Bureau
The event organiser is responsible for actual arrangements, but Oulu Convention Bureau provides assistance with the organising.
We offer objective expert assistance for the planning and application phase of your conference, free of charge:
- pre-planning the event together with the applicant
- preliminary budgeting
- preliminary booking of conference spaces and lodging
- planning the additional programme and preliminary bookings
- assistance in selecting suitable partners and service providers
- planning and preparation of bid documents and materials (Oulu photos and videos)
See OCB application model Hakemusmalli (bid book)
- organising a familiarisation visit for decision-makers of international organisations
- advance marketing of conference through the City of Oulu communication channels
Oulu Convention Bureau also offers a covering information package of Oulu as a city for meetings, conferences and events. In addition, we help you create collaboration networks with the city organisation and service providers. You can benefit from our extensive local expertise and partnership networks along with impartial information of various operators.
- Make use of free assistance offered by your region, municipality or city, such as the Oulu Convention Bureau in Oulu.
- Find out about the invitation procedure and pick a date. Remember to pay attention to possible traditional meeting times, other events in the same field, and holidays.
- Put effort into presenting the invitation. So be prepared to promote Finland.
- Confirm and book the venues, facilities, services and transport well in advance.
- Consider a familiarisation visit. You can invite decision-makers to get acquainted with FInland before the congress country is selected.
- Plan the finances for you conference and keep them updated. Plan your budget and funding well in advance and keep it in check with regular monitoring.
- Find out about possible sources for funding. Remember that you will have expenses long before the event itself.
- Prepare the programme with care and effort. High-quality substance is at the core of meetings and congresses, but plan the more casual content carefully, too. Memorable networking events attract participants.
- Distribute tasks and responsibilities clearly. Your organising committee should not become too big or inflexible.
- Remember marketing! Efficient marketing will increase the number of your convention participants.
Guides to organising conferences
- Finland Convention Bureau has compiled a conference planning guide
with important instructions for conference organisers. The guide include an organiser’s check list with which you can follow how the organising progresses and keep track of your schedule.
- See also Finland Convention Bureau’s Manual for environmentally responsible meetings
We are members of the following domestic and international networks.
Please contact us
Riina Aikio, Events and Conventions Manager
+358 (0) 40 419 6605
Helena Pikkarainen, Senior Advisor, Meetings and Conferences
+358 (0) 44 703 1323
Memorable framework programme in Oulu
A high-quality supplementary programme is an important part of a conference visit. Your guests can experience conference city Oulu either independently or through activities tailored for groups. Nature is close by – just a stone’s throw from the city centre. True wilderness can be found only a couple of hours’ drove away. The maritime city of Oulu is unofficially known as a northern capital for biking. During their free time, a conference visitor may grab a pink city bike and take a ride through picturesque Pikisaari Island to the beautiful Nallikari Beach, or roll inland along the banks of Oulu River, marvelling at the beautiful scenery there. Along the riverbanks, there are also wonderful sauna rafts for enjoying the mellow heat of a sauna, along with a refreshing dip in the river. Other methods of relaxation on the waters include SUP boarding or canoeing, for example.
Nature around the corner
In the winter, you can go for a fatbike trip on the ice of the frozen sea, or in the woods. A bicycle safari is a wonderful way of getting to know the nature around Oulu in a group. Several specialised companies offer memorable, recreational activities for guests. If there is enough spare time, your conference guests can also escape the bustle of Oulu and enjoy the quiet of Syöte National Park or the natural wonders of Rokua Geopark. While there, it is possible to take in the scenery on snowshoes, skis, or a bike, for example. Even Santa Claus lives practically next door – the drive to the Arctic Circle takes only a few hours.
Oulu Tourist Information Office can give practical advice and useful tips to tourists and locals alike. Have a look at our travel tips!
Tourist Information home page
As a conference organiser, you can let professionals take care of practical matters concerning the arrangements. If you wish to vacate some time for planning the content of your conference, contact a conference service agency.
Well organised catering is an integral part of a conference. People must eat to keep up, and a good host will take care of fluent dining. There are many catering companies in the Oulu region, some of which are listed below.
- Aalto Catering – Catering and charter restaurant by the sea
- Fazer Amica – Delicious catering for all events
- Nekka Cafe & Catering – With expertise and dedication
- Nordic Gourmet – Impressive catering with years of experience
- Oskarin Kellari – Vast menu with selections for casual and festive events
- Pihvitupa – Catering service specialised in steak dinners
- Ravintola Perla – Menus to accommodate your wishes
- Team SimiSami – Delicious and plentiful catering for events and feasts of 15–3000 people
- Uniresta Oy – Catering services for hundreds of different events annually
These specialised service companies provide services such as sound production, lighting, AV technology, interpreting and events marketing.
All the venues are quick and easy to reach, for the majority of them are located in the city centre. Venues farther away are located by convenient connections. As a lively city of enterprise and universities, Oulu has a comprehensive selection of various party venues and sauna premises along with restaurants that operate on a charter basis.
Spaces in total
|De Gamlas Hem||100||3||degamlashotel.fi|
|Oulu Museum of Art||40||120||3||www.ouka.fi/taidemuseo|
|Tuba – Food & Lounge||90||90||70||1||www.tuba.fi|
||Auditorium||Cocktail||Seated dinner||Spaces in total
|Break Sokos Hotelli Eden||200||450||250||13||www.sokoshotels.fi|
|Cultural Centre Valve||150||300||80||9||www.kulttuurivalve.fi|
|Lapland Hotels Oulu||180||600||350||12||www.laplandhotels.fi|
|Original Sokos Hotel Arina||250||450||120||6||www.sokoshotels.fi|
|Oulu Main Library||190||190||3||www.ouka.fi/oulu/kirjasto/tilat-laitteet-ja-valineet|
|Radisson Blu Hotel Oulu||tarkentuu myöhemmin||tarkentuu myöhemmin||tarkentuu myöhemmin||tarkentuu myöhemmin||www.radissonhotels.com/fi-fi/hotellit/radisson-blu-oulu|
|Scandic Oulu City||160||150||150||10||www.scandichotels.fi|
|Scandic Oulu Station||180||www.scandichotels.fi|
|Science Centre Tietomaa||210||200||96||5||www.oulunluuppi.fi|
||Auditorium||Cocktail||Seated dinner||Spaces in total
|Oulu Hockey Arena||6641||www.ouka.fi/oulu/liikunta-ja-ulkoilu/oulun-jaahalli|
|Oulu Music Centre||816||1200||460||www.oulunmusiikkikeskus.fi|
The best-known hotels are located in the heart of Oulu. In Nallikari, you can find lodging in Nallikari Holiday VIllage, in a beautiful camping site next to the sea. Oulu has enough hotels to lodge thousands of conference guests, if necessary.
Thank you for letting us know about your conference!
OCB keeps statistics and maintains communication on international meetings and conferences taking place in Oulu. If an event meets the criteria of an international conference, we will communicate them further to FCB for statistics. If you wish, you may register your conference with us just for statistical purposes.
Conferences from the previous year must be reported to us by 31 January in order to be considered in the annual conference statistics. The annual statistics are published every year in March or April. The conference statistics yield useful information to us for developing Oulu as a conference city. Please report your event to us by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The criteria for an international conference
Name of event
Venue and number of participants
|18.-21.5.2021||Taitaja – ammattitaidon SM-kilpailu||Ouluhalli Arena, Oulu Hockey Arena and OSAO Haukipudas Unit|
|21.-23.5.2021||Kirkkopäivät ja Lähetysjuhlat|
|?.6.2021||Conference on Epidemiological Birth Cohort and Longitudinal Studies – 4th Paula Rantakallio symposium||University of Oulu|
|11.-12.6.2021||2nd CFP: Transcultural Encounters 3: Debate! Language, Culture and Information in Interaction||University of Oulu|
|23. – 27.8.2021||ICESS (International Electronic Spectroscopy and Structure)||University of Oulu|
|The calendar shows all publishable and significant national and international conferences known to us. For information on international conferences organised in Finland, please see also the Finland Convention Bureau conference calendar.|
Paikka ja osallistujamäärä
|29.-30.1.2020||PRINSE’20||University of Oulu|
|5.-6.2.2020||Northern Lights Education Conference||Oulu|
|12.2.2020||Wind Finland goes production 2020||BusinessOulu|
|18.-20.2.2020||Arctic Education Forum 2020|
|11.-15.5.2020||Midnight Summer School||Oulu|
|14.-15.5.2020||Oulu Conference on DIVERSITY AND DIALOGUE – Migration and participation||University of Oulu|
|26.-28.8.2020||The 6th International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2020)||University of Oulu|
|4.-6.9.2020||Keskustan sääntömääräinen puoluekokous||Ouluhalli|
|11.-13.9.2020||The Rotary Institute Finland 2020||Radisson Blu Oulu / 350|
|22.-24.10.2020||12th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research 2020 (Atut2020)||University of Oulu|
|Kalenterissa ovat kaikki tiedossamme olevat julkaisuluvalliset, merkittävät valtakunnalliset ja kansainväliset kongressit. Suomessa järjestettävistä kansainvälisistä kongresseista löydät tietoja myös Finland Convention Bureaun kongressikalenterista.|
Name of event
Venue and number of participants
|16.-17.1.2019||Northern Lights Education Conference||Oulu Teacher Training School / 20-30|
|5.-6.2.2019||Oikos Finland conference for ecologists and evolutionary biologists||Hotelli Lasaretti / 200|
|7.-9.2.2019||One Arctic – One Health||Original Sokos Hotel Arina|
|12.-13.3.2019||Polar Bear Pitching|
|12.-14.3.2019||Can ECoC save the world?||Hotelli Lasaretti|
|20.3.2019||FiDiPro Biocomposites and Biomaterials -seminar||Hotelli Lasaretti|
|1.-5.4.2019||International Teacher and Staff Exchange Week||OAMK|
|2.4.2019||PropTech Oulu||Radisson Blu Oulu|
|9.4.2019||Biocenter Oulu Day 2019: Nature Meets Technology – The many faces of modern medicine||University of Oulu|
|24.-26.4.2019||COACT Conference 2019||University of Oulu|
|9.-10.5.2019||Nordic Interprofessional Network NIPNET Conference 2019||OAMK / 100|
|13.-17.5.2019||Midnight Sun Summer School||Oulu Teacher Training School / 50-70|
|14.-15.5.2019||Industry Summit 2019||Oulu Theatre|
|23.-24.5.2019||TERVE-SOS 2019||Oulun Theatre|
|27.-29.5.2019||10th MC meeting and 10th technical meeting||University of Oulu|
|28.-29.5.2019||FabLearn Europe||University of Oulu / 100|
|5.-6.6.2019||IMSE™ Solution Day 2.0|
|6.6.2019||GenZ Talks seminar||University of Oulu|
|6.-7.6.2019||PrintoCent InnoFest||Restaurant Nallikari / 120|
|9.-10.6.2019||Oulu HIMSS & Health 2.0 Side event||Maikkula Mansion, Oulu University Hospital, OYS TestLab|
|10.-15.6.2019||UBISS 2019||University of Oulu|
|17.-19.6.2019||ISCORD 2019||Hotelli Lasaretti / 200-300|
|8.-9.8.2019||IAIC 2019 – The 4th International Agriculture Innovation Conference||IAAS, University of Oulu|
|12.-17.8.2019||International Incoherent Scatter Radar School||Pikku-Syöte|
|14.–16.8.2019||RDHum 2019||University of Oulu|
|19.-23.8.2019||19th International EISCAT Symposium 2019 and 46th Annual European Meeting on Atmospheric Studies by Optical Methods||University of Oulu|
|24.-25.8.2019||Kristillisdemokraattien 33. puoluekokous||Pohjankartano School|
|29.-30.8.2019||Finland – MAX IV Symposium||University of Oulu|
|9.-11.9.2019||Oulu Mining Summit||University of Oulu|
|12.9.2019||Energy solutions for the block level – Opportunities in Smart City business environment||Ympäristötalo|
|24.-26.9.2019||Colours and Shadows – Deep Glance in Modern Pedagogy||Oulu Teacher Training School / 20-30|
|24.-25.10.2019||32nd Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics||University of Oulu / 50-100|
|24.-26.10.2019||Historiantutkimuksen päivät 2019|
|30.10.-1.11.2019||CriM 2019 Cyber Security Seminar and Workshops||University of Oulu|
|10.-11.12.2019||Upscaling Digital Solutions in Cities||Oulu, Finland|
|The calendar shows all publishable and significant national and international conferences known to us. For information on international conferences organised in Finland, please see also the Finland Convention Bureaun conference calendar.|